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Naturopathic Solutions for Infertility: A Holistic Approach

Dr. Michelle Salga, BTR (dip.), BSc., ND - Naturopathic Doctor

infertility natural approach

Fertility promotion is an important topic for discussion for those that are looking to start a family or continue to build their family. Ideally, it is recommended to start at least three months prior to trying to conceive in order to make sure the proper blood tests and diagnostic imaging has been done in order to understand your individual fertility status and then give time for treatment to have its effect on hormones and the body.

Infertility is a complex and often emotionally challenging issue that affects many individuals and couples worldwide. It is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse for couples under 35 years of age, or after six months for couples over 35. Infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Reproductive Health Issues: This encompasses conditions affecting the reproductive organs, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, ovarian dysfunction, uterine fibroids, and tubal blockages in women, and low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or erectile dysfunction in men.

  2. Hormonal Imbalances: Irregularities in hormone levels can disrupt ovulation in women and sperm production in men, leading to difficulties in conceiving.

  3. Lifestyle Factors: Factors such as excessive stress, poor diet, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to environmental toxins can all negatively impact fertility in both men and women.

  4. Age: Female fertility declines with age, particularly after the age of 35, as the quality and quantity of eggs decrease. Male fertility can also decline with age, though not as sharply as in women.

  5. Genetic Factors: Some cases of infertility may have a genetic component, such as chromosomal abnormalities or inherited conditions that affect reproductive health.

  6. Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders and autoimmune disorders, can impact fertility.

Addressing infertility often involves a multidisciplinary approach, with input from healthcare professionals such as reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, gynecologists, and naturopathic doctors. Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause of infertility and may include lifestyle modifications, medication, surgery, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), and alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbal medicine and a unique combination of supplements, depending on the condition.

Naturopathic doctors can play a valuable role in supporting individuals and couples through their fertility journey by providing personalized treatment plans that address underlying health issues, optimize reproductive function, and enhance overall well-being. This may include dietary and nutritional interventions, botanical medicine, acupuncture, stress management techniques, and lifestyle counseling to promote optimal fertility, prevent miscarriages and improve the chances of conception.

Most causes of challenges related to fertility can be improved with naturopathic medicine through correcting diet, managing lifestyle, and recommending certain supplements that balance hormones and improve egg and sperm quality to enhance chances to conceive. Some supplements that play a vital role in fertility are antioxidants and herbal medicines in order to balance hormones or shift the body’s physiology.

For example, the likely cause of infertility in PCOS is high insulin, high testosterone, and low progesterone. Sometimes the thyroid is affected as well which impacts conception. Of course, a proper investigation via blood tests and ultrasound are required which will be discussed in the initial consultation. Treatment would include dietary changes to address insulin dysregulation along with herbal and vitamin therapy to increase progesterone levels, lower testosterone, and balance the thyroid. Not everyone with PCOS has the same challenges and each person can present very differently, therefore it is important to have the proper investigations done by your Naturopathic Doctor.

It's important to approach infertility with compassion, sensitivity, and an open mind, recognizing the unique needs and circumstances of each individual or couple. Providing holistic care that integrates conventional and alternative therapies can empower individuals to take an active role in their fertility journey and improve their chances of achieving a healthy pregnancy and fulfilling their dream of starting a family.

If you would like more information about your particular condition or are interested in further investigation pertaining to fertility enhancement, then please reach out to our Naturopathic Doctor for a 15 minute discovery call to discuss your particular case and health goals.

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